What I Learned In My First Four Months In Corporate Aviation

I skimmed over the email quickly; shaking my head and clenching my jaw due to its contents. I could sense the fears and uncertainty beneath the words; a stranger reaching out for wisdom and comfort. And, I had nothing to say. I didn’t feel the compassionate support that they needed from me, because if the last few months taught me anything, I knew that there isn’t much certainty in aviation and an epic life doesn’t come easy.

But, it will all be worth it.

Not writing for over a week has resulted in a million tangents of jumbled thoughts, so I’m throwing in this summary of what I have learned in my first for months in the corporate aviation industry. Thanks for all of the teaching. I’m grateful for the growth. 

Kara Mulder— Corporate Flight Attendant

  • Opportunities can come from anywhere.
    Be ready to face what you never want to face.
  • You are much stronger and much more capable than you give yourself credit for.
  • Someone is always watching.
  • You don’t rise to the occasion; you fall back on your level of training.
  • Over-communicate. (I mean, when someone tells you to get six ice teas, did you realize how many types of ice tea is available out there? Well, I do.
  • Be clear.
  • Smile
  • Do more than you are asked and expected to do.
  • Be kind to everyone— even the people “below you.”
  • Remember someone’s name.
  • The 405 is a bitch.
  • Your bosses are NOT actually “out to get you.”
  • Ask questions and communicate with your superiors. They actually want to help
  • Force yourself beyond your comfort zone.
  • Every flight is a “job interview.”
  • Corporate flight attendants are magicians with super powers to solve problems with poise.
  • You are one airplane sale or bad performance away from losing your job. (Not said to scare you, but a reminder to always show up ready).
  • Figure out a way to manufacture the confidence you do not feel.
  • That energy you have— people pick up on it, so pick an energy that is positively contagious and captivating. It will support you in your
  • The Evolution Orange Juice in 16oz bottles is usually sold out when you need it.
  • Make a plan and expect it to be changed.
  • Anticipate what could happen. Anticipate what might happen. Anticipate all of it.
  • Stop spending so much time breaking your own heart.
  • Kiteboarding is still the best escape.
  • This time matters.
  • People are more impatient and patient than you expect.
  • There’s more to it than perfection.
  • There’s a really pretty way to plate food.
  • I can cook things.

I recently flew and was told by the captain— who intimidates the hell out of me due to both looks and personality— before the flight, “You have to be perfect. This flight has to go flawlessly.” I shook my head, rolled my eyes, pursed my lips, and responded with— “Yeah. Thanks. No pressure.” And, you know what happened? I wasn’t perfect and I’m not upset with myself because of that. There was a point in my life when I would have been. When that statement, by that captain, would have stressed me to a ball of tears. Now, I see it as this; If you do the best you can, with where you are at and with what you have, you can walk away from any job, any relationship, any situation and think, “What did I do well? What can I improve on? How can I make the experience better next time?”

Every day is a chance to be better than the yesterday. When you think you have to be perfect you will never ever find your best self.

Kara Mulder Corporate Flight Attendant

About the Author Kara

Curious. Bubbly. Creative. Curating a life I don't need an escape from and inspiring you to do the same.

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1 comment
Mardi says April 6, 2017

Kara, how did you get into corporate aviation? I’m currently doing commercial aviation with an American carrier and very interested in a more “private” setting.
Thanks for your help! xxoo

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